Irish transport giant Bus Éireann has been told it must completely rid itself of its Expressway service if it is to save its business from bankruptcy.
This would leave thousands around the country no other option but to deal with old, redundant and unreliable bus services.
According to the Irish Independent, the Expressway service has come under serious pressure from private competitors in recent years. Getting rid of the services completely was deemed by far the best option to secure the company's future, in an assessment from Grant Thornton.
The alternative option was that Bus Éireann would have needed to axe six of its standard routes, secure state funding and start making profit from its school bus businesses.
Should this go ahead, Bus Éireann will have to pay severance packages of up to €500,000 in total to drivers.
General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said:
"The NBRU has over the last two years been aware of the developing crisis at Bus Éireann in relation to the Expressway commercial service. We have conducted two ballots for industrial action during that time in the event that the company would move to unilaterally implement signalled changes to terms and conditions in a futile attempt to resolve this crisis.
Unless all of the stakeholders, inclusive of the policy makers at the Department of Transport, the NTA, (whose implementation of this policy in the guise of saturating the bus market is central to the financial crisis) - along with company and Staff - come together and engage on potential solutions, the comprehensive network that has taken generations of Bus Éireann staff to build will unravel and ultimately disappear.''